Dissecting DareDevil with Ryan K Lindsay

| February 13, 2013


I had a chance to talk with Ryan K Lindsay about his upcoming book of essays on Daredevil. Enjoy this TRENCHES interview!

Tyler James:  Ryan, you’ve been hard at work building a name for yourself writing comics, but you also have a passion for writing ABOUT comics and comics characters. Tell us about THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS: EXAMINING MATT MURDOCK AND DAREDEVIL? How did this project come about?

Ryan K Lindsay: This book is a major literary collection of essays all about Marvel’s Daredevil character, of which I have written a great deal of words and edited even more from others. This book came about because I love Daredevil. Well, actually, I love Matt Murdock. I think he’s such a rich figure and I knew there would be plenty of ways to analyse him, his story, his history, his world, and plenty of other aspects in and around him.

Luckily for me, Sequart agreed and so now we have this book coming out and I couldn’t be more proud as its shepherd but also more excited as a fan of the character.

TJ: Why Daredevil? What’s his unique position within the MU, or his character that makes him worthy of such an in-depth exploration?

RKL: Matt Murdock is the greatest tragic figure in modern literature. His storied history covers a multitude of narrative styles and genres, he’s honestly just about done it all. From high art to soap opera, Daredevil is a character and a book that thinks it can do it all, and is usually right. This means that a book of essays is going to have a lot of ground to cover and that excites me for a book. It’s not going to be too thin and it’s also not going to need to repeat itself. A character like that deserves to be analysed to see exactly how all of these threads have worked over multiple decades.

I also like that he’s an underdog in the MU, that he’s just off the radar. It means there’s not a glut of this information on the market already, though there are certainly enough fans out there to warrant such analysis of their favourite character.

TJ: Did anything surprise you from this project?

RKL: I was surprised by how much I enjoyed being the boss. When Sequart said I could edit this book, they basically gave me the keys and told me to call all my own shots. Not needing to second guess yourself or wonder what decision someone else might make, or want you to make, is incredibly freeing. It didn’t take long for me to enjoy the fact that I could ask people to do things or delegate responsibility at times. I realised I like running projects like this.

I was also surprised by just how many different genres Daredevil has covered. Through my gigantic reread before digging into this book, and then reading the essays from the other contributors as they came in, I was surprised by the fact Daredevil has pretty much done it all. Science fiction in outer space, legal thrillers, cape action, goofy team ups, Daredevil is a man that’s really been around. It is almost shocking at just how much. I mean, D.G. Chichester was going to send him back in time to the gangs of New York before he got dumped from the title. I now really want to read that story.

TJ: To what extent does such a deep analysis of such an iconic character impact your efforts to create compelling characters of your own?

RKL: This is a great question. As much as Daredevil has flirted with a plethora of genres, it’s clear he works best in a secure few. It’s been interesting to analyse exactly why this is and then use those metrics on my own characters. If I write a subterranean welder who is going to headline a romance story then I need to work out if the character is built for such a genre.

Doing this book also showed me that you have to really invest in every aspect of the comic that goes around the character. You need a great location, supporting characters, villains. When you look at Daredevil, you see a fantastically rounded world. I now want to do that for my own characters and stories. You need to put in the time to pad around your lead so they have a dense story and world that rings true.

TJ: Okay, Marvel gives you the keys to Matt Murdock’s kingdom…What does a Lindsay run look like? And what three artists would you pick to bring your run to life.

RKL: Oh, believe me, I’ve thought about this one before. The run looks dark, I’ll have to admit, I like it that way. I dig the way Frank Miller had these high end gangsters with contract killers who just happened to wear crazy costumes. I think that brutal side of Daredevil’s world is fascinating. But I’m sure that answer screams cliche to too many people. I will say I have a great character arc worked out to resurrect Man-Bull. I will say there would be a major change to the mythos of Jack Murdock that I’m really surprised hasn’t been attempted before. I will say Iron Fist, and HYDRA, and K’un L’un would play a part. Typhoid Mary would play a strong role, too. She would be the female of my run.

Kung fu noir would be a great way to explain a lot of my run.

To bring it to life I’d be looking for Declan Shalvey with Jordie Bellaire colours. And Clay Mann with Dean White’s colours. And then maybe a touch of Greg Capullo and his Batman team crossing the line for a special arc. I’d throw in David Aja but he’s a given for any question like this.

In addition to “The Devil is in the Details“, you can find more of Ryan’s work in his upcoming one-shot “Fatherhood”  from Challenger Comics (readchallenger.com), the ongoing “Ghost Town” from Action Lab Entertainment’s Danger Zone imprint which will launch later this year, ComixTribe’s Oxymoron HC, and he’s got a prose short in LEE, from Crime Factory (crimefactory.com), which is an anthology of short stories about Lee Marvin. Hit him up on twitter as @ryanklindsay for words daily.

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Category: Trenches

About the Author ()

Tyler James is a comics creator, game designer, educator, and publisher residing in Newburyport, MA. He is the writer and co-creator of THE RED TEN, a superhero murder mystery, EPIC, a superteen action comedy, and TEARS of the DRAGON, a swords and sorcery fantasy. Tyler is the publisher and co-creator of ComixTribe, which is both a new imprint of quality creator owned titles, and an online community where creators help creators make better comics. Follow him on Twitter @tylerjamescomics, or send him an email at tyler.james@comixtribe.com.